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Four Sure-fire Tips on Finding a Good Literary Agent
Publishing agents, also known as literary agents, are professionals who send authors’ literary compositions to different editors. If the editors like what they read, the agents will negotiate contracts that will allow publishers to print and distribute works written by authors.
For aspiring writers who want to have their creations published, here are four tips on finding a good agent.
Create a list of books that have similar genres.
Other authors usually mention their agents on the acknowledgement pages of their books. If the agents’ names can’t be found in those books, then it’s best to contact the publishers. These publishers typically have publicity departments that have the agents’ names and contact information. Agents can be found speaking in book conferences, book festivals, and writer’s programs.
Writers who want to publish poems will have difficulty finding agents who will represent poets. That is because poetry books usually don’t generate sufficient income for both the writers and the agents.
Create a list of agents who are more likely to help writers succeed.
These agents have connections with various editors and keep up with the latest book industry news. They know which publishers have editors who like books that are similar to the author's works. Agents are always updated with the latest book industry news to determine which kinds of books are popular with readers. Writers should never go for agents who represent books that are very similar to their works.
Search for the selected agents’ submission guidelines on the internet.
Some agents won’t bother to read written works that don’t abide by their submission guidelines. Sending them a printed query letter is ideal if writers can’t find the submission guidelines online.
The query letter should come with a self-addressed stamped envelope. It should not contain photographs, alternative fonts, and jokes. The letter should mention the writer’s connection with the agent, book category, book summary, credentials, and reason for writing the book. The letter’s first paragraph should include the writer’s connection with the agent and the second paragraph should contain the book’s summary. If the chosen agents work for the same agency, it’s best to send a query letter to one agent first until that person hasn’t responded for several months.
Wait for a response from one of the agents.
These professionals will request the writer's partial or whole literary composition. If the composition needs more improvement before sending to editors, the agents will give suggestions on what the writers have to do.
By keeping these tips in mind, ambitious writers can have their written works produced by the right publishers. If they can’t find agents, it means that those people aren’t the right ones to represent them. There will be other agents out there so keep looking.